Ginseng Chicken Soup - Chinese Herbal Recipes, sliced ginseng root ( ren shen 人參 ) which is warming and most appropriate for winter, this recipe uses the fine rootlet filaments that grow from the main roots of ginseng. These have similar tonic properties to regular ginseng, but they are slightly cooling and may therefore be used in summer cooking. In addition, this recipe uses red dates ( hong zao 紅棗 ), a herb which is a tonic to the spleen and stomach, thereby improving digestion and assimilation of tonic nutrients. Red dates also have a calming effect on the whole system, while at the same time increasing available energy.
1 fresh chicken or 4 chicken legs
10 gm ginseng ( ren shen 人參 ) rootlet filaments, rinsed
5 seedless red dates ( hong zao 紅棗 ), rinsed
2 slices frest ginger root
1½ litres (6 cups) water
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1. Wash and clean the chicken. If using whole chicken, keep it whole or cut it into large pieces. Cut the chicken legs in half. Poach
the chicken in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove and drain. Alternatively scald the chicken with boiling water.
2. In a large heat-proof bowl, place the chicken together with all the other ingredients except the salt. Steam in a steamer or wok over boiling water for 2 hours, constantly replenishing the water in the steamer or wok as needed. Remove from the heat, stir in the salt and serve hot.